Furtado Jumpstarts Bombardiers Offense Against KP

Cam Furtado
Sophomore Cam Furtado (14) started for Attleboro on Friday and accounted for three touchdowns in a 25-15 win against KP. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It was only Friday morning when Attleboro knew that it was going to have to make a change at quarterback. An injury sidelined starter Tyler McGovern, who was on crutches on the sidelines that night, forcing sophomore Cameron Furtado to take over under center for the Bombardiers.

Rather than be overwhelmed by the moment, Furtado provided a spark for an offense that had been struggling to score points and was shutout last week by rival North Attleboro.

The Bombardiers scored on each of their first two possessions and jumped out to a three-score lead by halftime to get back to .500 on the season with a 25-15 win over King Philip in a game that had to be moved to Tozier-Cassidy Field because of maintenance on the new track at KP.

“It was a good win for us,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “Cam did a great job managing the game, the defense hunkered down when we needed to, and special teams did a good job.”

Furtado made an instant impact for the Bombardiers. After just missing the fingertips of senior wideout Alex Silva throwing deep on the first play of the game, he scampered 41 yards on a keeper to the KP 40. The next play he swung the ball to the outside and Brendan Nunes did the rest for a 40-yard touchdown.

After a KP put, Attleboro put together a 10-play, 74-yard drive to extend the lead. Furtado (13 carries, 110 yards) was the key with five carries for 32 yards and he also picked out Alex Silva down the sideline for 36 yards. Furtado, known as a runner, completed 5-9 passes for 127 yards on the night.

Strachan said, “He’s an athlete and you know he’s only a sophomore for us and he made a lot of great plays.”

He added, “The big difference between this week and other weeks is that we made plays.”

McGovern is a drop back passer and it was clear at the start that the KP defense had a hard time adjusting to the very different look that Furtado brought to the Attleboro offense.

KP coach Brian Lee said, “We’ve seen that ‘Wildcat’ package from them, but then when they went to exclusive to it…a lot of things we’d been practicing got thrown out and I think it caught our guys off a little.”

The Warriors, as they have all season, struggled to finish drives. Junior quarterback John DeLuca hit Leo Munafo for 32 yards and moved KP into the red zone, but the Attleboro defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs.

KP had a chance after a very short Attleboro punt, but Sean Donnelly recovered a fumble by DeLuca to end the drive at the Bombardiers 23. On the next KP possession, DeLuca was intercepted by Ethan Dubeau at the Warriors 34.

“Normally our turnovers are completely flipped,” said Lee. “I don’t think we had an interception all year and we are not used to fumbling but we put the ball on the ground three times last week and I think maybe three times tonight. It’s disheartening.”

The Bombardiers took advantage of the turnover to add to the lead before halftime. After an incomplete pass and a seven-yard carry by John Burns, Furtado hooked up with Silva on a deep slant for a 27-yard score. The conversion was no good for the second time and Attleboro went into the locker room leading 19-0.

“We broke tackles, Cam made plays, and it was really important to get off the right way for us,” Strachan remarked. “Then we came back out and went right back down the field after they had scored, so we answered them.”

KP came out of the break and put together a time-consuming march down the field. Starting from its own 33, KP used 17 plays and 9:53 off the clock but again it stalled inside the Attleboro 10. DeLuca (17-29, 158 yards) was unable to hit R.J. McCarthy on fourth and goal from the five to give the ball back to the Bombardiers.

The defense forced a three and out and got the ball back at the Attleboro 32. Finally, KP was able to capitalize. DeLuca hit Munafo for 11 yards and had a 15-yard scramble before junior Giovanni Fernandez capped the drive with a three-yard dive that made it 19-7.

Attleboro responded on its next drive. The Bombardiers went 61 yards in eight plays to restore the three-score lead. Furtado again found Silva on the big play of the drive, a 27-yard pass to the near sideline that got the ball down to the 23. Nunes punched it in from five yards out for his first rushing TD of the game.

KP was not finished. The Warriors went on another long drive, this time using 11 plays but less than two minutes. DeLuca was 7-8 on the drive and also had three carries for 22 yards. He hit McCarthy for a 10-yard TD and scrambled to find Munafo for the two-point conversion to make it 25-15 with 51 seconds left.

Strachan said, “I was worried about it because they can make plays. Their quarterback is a special kid and he’s a hard runner. We were a little too loose and we’ll learn from that.”

The Warriors recovered the onside kick, which DeLuca seemed frustrated by when he first hit it but somehow the ball slowly edged past the 10 yards necessary for KP to jump on it. Kyle Murphy and Owen McKenna effectively ended the game with a 12-yard sack of DeLuca, who ended the game with a pair of bombs that dropped incomplete.

“And up front physically, very overwhelming that size, those trap blocks and how they get on you,” explained Lee. “They’ve got some dudes over there. I think that’s probably the most talented team we faced.”

Attleboro (3-3, 2-2) will try to continue building its resume for the postseason next week when it hosts Franklin. KP (2-4, 2-2) still has a good chance of making the playoffs and can bolster that with a win against Taunton in the final game of the regular season.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Bombardiers Offense Sputters Against Dartmouth

Alex Silva
Alex Silva (85) pulls in a reception on the far sideline, one of the few big plays for the Bombardiers against Dartmouth. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Click HERE for photo gallery from the game.

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Following a week in which it scored 55 points to bring home the Elks Trophy against crosstown rival Bishop Feehan, the Attleboro offense failed to ignite against defending Div. 3 state champion Dartmouth in a non-league game at Tozier-Cassidy Field on Friday night.

The Bombardiers defense did its part, limiting their former Old Colony League rival to just one touchdown and forcing three straight three and outs in the third quarter. But Attleboro turned the ball over four times and only reached the Dartmouth red zone once in the game, as the visitors pulled out a 10-0 win that evened both teams records at 1-1.

“Turnovers, you just can’t do it,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “Not in these games. It’s so tight, going back and forth, and we get field position then we turn the ball over.”

Attleboro was missing senior running back Brandon Nunes, the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week from week one, who was out with an ankle injury. Nunes accounted for four touchdowns against Feehan.

When asked how much his absence hurt, Strachan responded, “He’s explosive. We have to be able to bounce back from losing a Nunes or a senior leader…I give the credit to Dartmouth; they came to play and they took care of the ball.”

The teams traded punts on their first possessions of the game and Attleboro took over for its second try on offense in Dartmouth territory at the 49. Senior Brian Letourneau, who started in place of Nunes, converted on fourth and one to give Attleboro a first down at the Indians, but on the next play Tyler McGovern was picked off in the end zone by Matt Craig.

Cameron Furtado put a big hit on a Dartmouth receiver to put an end to the next Dartmouth drive and got the ball back on its own 36. Eight plays later, including a 20-yard hook-up between McGovern and senior Alex Silva, the Bombardiers faced second and five from the Dartmouth 11. A no gain by Letourneau was followed by a pair of passes that sailed out the end zone ending the drive.

The Indians took advantage of the Bombardiers failure to score. Dartmouth went on a drive that would eat up the rest of the time in the half as well as 74 yards. The Indians had the ball first and goal from the nine but Sean Donnelly stepped up and made a big play for a seven-yard loss.

On the 17th play of the drive, Dartmouth lined up a 32-yard field goal attempt. The Attleboro coaches called timeout just before the snap and watched as Kyle Sequeira’s kick sailed wide left. After the timeout, Sequeira’s second attempt was right down the middle for a 3-0 lead.

Dartmouth went three and out to start the third, but three plays later and after an Attleboro first down, Sean Smialek ripped the ball out of Letourneau’s hands and raced to the Bombardiers 20. Again, the defense stepped up to force a turnover on downs.

“I thought we bounced back from a week ago where we cleaned up a lot of things that we did,” said Strachan of his team’s defensive effort.

Senior lineman Kyle Murphy was a force on the line of scrimmage and was seemingly in every tackle, while also putting pressure on Dartmouth quarterback Cole Jacobsen. Senior Matt Mahoney also stepped up with big plays in the third quarter.

Strachan added, “I was really happy with the defense. That’s how we’re going to have to play when we hit the Hockomock League next week.”

Attleboro started to move the ball again on its next drive, but on third and two from its own 45, McGovern’s pass into the flat was deflected and intercepted by Craig again. The turnover did not prove costly, as the defense again held Dartmouth to three and out.

“We have to learn from this,” said Strachan. “You can’t turn the ball over and have expectations too high.”

On its first possession of the fourth quarter, Dartmouth took over at its own 19. The Indians would go 81 yards on nine plays to ice the game, highlighted by a 23-yard keeper by Jacobsen who also finished the drive with a three-yard run.

The defense thought it may have kept hope alive for Attleboro in the final few minutes by making one more big stand, but the ensuing punt was muffed and recovered by the Indians to run out the clock.

Attleboro will now turn its sights to Mansfield and the start of Hockomock League play next Friday at home. Strachan knows the challenges continue to grow for the Bombardiers.

“They’re such good programs,” he explained. “It really comes back to practice and getting things into the game plan that we need to execute.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.